PATERSON, N.J. (PIX11) — A new athletic fieldhouse for student athletes in Paterson is dedicated to a beloved principal who died during the pandemic.

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Dr. Gerald Glisson died due to COVID-19 complications, officials said. He was 46.

Many friends, former student athletes and fraternity brothers of the late Dr. Gerald Glisson cut the ribbon on the new, state-of-the-art facility on the field of Eastside High School on Monday.

The federally funded, $1.6 million space replaces the old, outdated facility. It is a project Dr. Glisson advocated strongly for. The fieldhouse will feature central air, brand new lockers and coaches’ offices, a trainer’s room with a whirlpool tub and media rooms with touchscreen TVs for teams to study film.

“This was his dream,” said Eileen Shafer, superintendent of Paterson Public Schools. “I know he’s looking down and saying, ‘thank you for following through.'”

Dr. Glisson passed away in May 2020 after a battle with COVID-19. Though he is gone, many still feel his presence and his passion for the game, but more importantly, the student athletes.

“This fieldhouse that will now bear his name will forever be a reminder of the love he had for them,” said Dr. Glisson’s daughter, Sydney Glisson. “Today is more than just a renaming and a ribbon cutting ceremony. Today is a day that solidifies the legacy of my father, Dr. Gerald E. Glisson, at Eastside High School and in Paterson history. Let’s continue to celebrate today by keeping my father’s legacy alive.”